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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/19/20

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Gerrit Cole stands behind Gary; Five Yankee wishes; a Japanese pitching possibility

MLB: ALDS-New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: For all the ink spilled on whether Gerrit Cole’s preference for Kyle Higashioka actually means anything, the Yankees ace doesn’t seem to care one way or the other. Cole heaped praise on both of the Yankee backstops, and re-iterated that he has no bias towards or against either Higgy or Gary Sánchez. Actions will speak louder than words, but for right now all we have are words.

SNY | Scott Thompson: We all have wish lists this time of year — mine is a new puffer vest and a microphone. For the Yankees, well, they have a list of their own and DJ LeMahieu is at the top of it. He’s not the only gift we’d like to get in 2021, though, with teamwide health and Aaron Judge being more like 2017 also being nice ideas.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: One of the items on that wish list is rotation help, and given the Yankees’ apparent disinterest in Trevor Bauer, the team could be looking at bringing Tomoyuki Sugano across the Pacific. Sugano, 31, posted a 1.97 ERA in NPB over 137.1 innings, and profiles as a #3 type in an MLB rotation, the exact kind of floor-raising move the Yankees need.